Illinois Department of Transportation Welcomes Bicyclists for Safe Summer Fun

We recently told you about the new Kinzie Bike Lane on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Blog. This bike lane was created to help decrease the number of bicycling accidents on our roadways.

Bicyclists account for more than 30 percent of the traffic on that roadway. The construction for this project started back on June 6th. The new lane will sit adjacent to the curb and will come with a lane width varying between 5-1/2 to 7 feet wide. The bike lane is separated from traffic by a 4-foot-wide buffer zone.We have also published concerns about the safety of the bike lane along the lakefront. Our Chicago bicycling accident attorneys encourage you to do your part in ensuring everyone’s safety on these lanes. While many accidents are caused by careless or inattentive motorists, riders can do their part; be courteous to one another in an attempt to reduce these potentially fatal accidents.

The City of Chicago currently has over 110 miles of on-street bike lanes, more than 30 miles of shared bike lanes and many miles of off-street paths. One of Chicago’s most popular bicycling paths is the Lakefront Trail, which is nearly 20 miles long. To help encourage bicycling in the area, the city also installed thousands of bike racks. They also have sheltered bike parking at a number of CTA rail stations, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The Illinois Department of Transportation suggests proper trail etiquette to help keep you safe:

-Stay right.

-Yield to walkers.

-Pass to the left — announce your intentions before overtaking slower traffic.

-Avoid stopping or blocking the path.

-Leash and control your pet.

-Properly dispose of trash.

-Avoid contact with unknown plant species; poison oak and poison ivy are plentiful.

-Wear a helmet.

Government officials are stepping up their efforts to protect Illinois bicyclists as well. The state of Illinois is waiting for Gov. Quinn’s to sign a bill into law that would allow bicyclists to treat “demand-actuated” red lights as stop signs. This would only be permitted to go through a red light if the signal does not change to green “within a reasonable period of time”. This law was proposed by Illinois motorcyclists. It would allow both motorcycles and bicycles to legally travel through a red light if the signal fails to detect them waiting. This law would affect all of the state except Chicago.

It is estimated that there are approximately 1,300 bicycling accident in Chicago every year. Safer bike lanes, cautious bicyclists and alert motorists can help reduce the number of yearly accidents.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Windy City Rated Near Top by Cyclists; Advocates Work to Reduce Risk of Chicago Bicycle Accidents, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 13, 2011

Chicago bike accident on the North Shore injures 1, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 2, 2011

Dooring to be tracked as cause of bicycle accidents in Chicago, elsewhere , Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 28, 2011

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